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Nyingchi Travel Guide

Tibet MapNyingchi City , lying in the southeast of Tibet, is in the embrace of these three mountain ranges. Nyingchi is also called "the Switzerland of Tibet" and "the Jiangnan of Tibet" (Jiangnan means the fertile and prosperous area in the south of the Yangtze. "Nyingchi" means "the Grand Seat of the Sun" in the language of Tibetan. It is noted for its green mountains and clear water. The Himalaya and Tangula Mountains wind their ways from west to east like two colossal dragons and join the Henduan Mountains in the east. 

The primitive forest of Nyingchi is well preserved in which one can easily find the upright ancient plateau Tibetan cypress, the Himalaya cold cedar, the "living plant fossil"- the tree bracken and a vast variety of azaleas. Nyingchi is therefore entitled "the Natural Museum and "the Natural Gene Pool". The area around the Buqun Lake is deemed to be the place where the wild man was living.


Lying in the lower reaches of the Yaluzhangbu River southeast of Tibet, the Nyingchi Prefecture has the average latitude of approximately 3,000 meters above the sea level while the lowest place here is only about 900 meters above the sea level. This area is known for its mild wet weather and gorgeous landscape. The major townships and scenic zones include the Economic Area of the Niyang River Valley, Bayi Town and the Scenic Zones of Yaluzhangbu River. Among the above, the capital township – Bayi on the bank of the Biyang River, is the political and economic center of this prefecture.

Local Products

sAs a crucial logistic center in southeast Tibet, every day various commodities come to Bayi from Lhasa, Chengdu, or even Beijing, Canton and Shanghai for trade. In the meantime local products sell out from here. Probably due to the fact that it has been aided by Canton, Bayi looks more like a Cantonese town than a Tibetan one and its living pace is even faster than that of Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. In the Hongji Market at the heart of the town shoppers can easily buy things ranging from fruits, vegetable and seafood that come from inner China to local goods such as mushroom etc. The downtown also abounds with a large number of teahouses, bars, hotels, Internet cafes and supermarkets.

Climate & Weather

The topography of Nyingchi is highly undulating with the average latitude of 3,000 meters and the lowest place- Bacuoka is only 150 meters above the sea level. Its climate is basically mild and pleasant for the whole year, which creates a desirable environment for both farming and animal husbandry and thus its nickname “the Tibetan Jiangnan”. The warm and wet air currents from the Indian Ocean bring abundant rainfalls here. The blending of various climates ranging from tropical to temperate zone climate contributes a lot to the forming of the unique landscapes and tourist attractions. Nyingchi has an annual average rainfall of 650mm, 2,022.2 hours of sun lighting, 180 days without frost and a yearly average temperature of 8.7 degree Celsius. The average winter temperature is above zero degree Celsius, and the average summer temperature 20 degree Celsius. Nyingchi is therefore a very pleasant place without harsh winter and burning summer. The rainy season, from May to September, however, is not a nice time period for visitors. The plentiful rainfalls often give rise to landslides, which poses a real threat to local transportation and highway. The tourists should avoid traveling along the Sichuan-Tibet highway at this season. Other natural disasters are sand storm, flood and hailstorms.

Nyingchi Tour

Nyingchi boasts both gorgeous natural beauty and profound ethnic cultures. In recent years with the rapid advancement of economic reform and opening up, the tourist industry has turned out to be a pillar industry in the reaches of the Niyang River and the relevant networks and facilities have already taken their forms. Nyingchi has become an international forest park in "the third pole of the globe" where a wide variety of activities such as sightseeing, mountain hiking, rock climbing, exploration, white water surfing and scientific research are carried out. Its unique ethnic living customs, music and dances, sports and tournaments and so on and so forth are among the major tourist attractions. Two visiting routes are recommended as below: 1. Lhasa- the Basong Lake- the Bayi Township; 2. Lhasa- Nyingchi- Milin- Shannan- Lhasa? (This is a highly recommendable route and viewed as a perfect blending of natural beauty, cultural relics and folk customs.

Top Attractions

Motuo County Mt. Namcha Barwa
               Yarlung Tsangpo River        Medog County         Namcha Barwa Mountain
Midui VillageBaksum Tso LakeBenri Mountain
           Midui Village                 Baksum Tso Lake             Benri Mountain

Ethnic Groups

Nyingchi is the native land to the Menba and Luoba people who have plenty of very typical traditional living customs and religious beliefs. The ancient legends, unsophisticated living customs, the totems of the tribes and villages among others all deliver these ancient and remote people a primitive, mysterious and inviting color. The widespread Tibetan Buddhism and local Ben give rise to the building of many great temples, which constitutes another tourist highlight in Nyingchi. In addition to its grand manmade tourist attractions, the natural beauty of Nyingchi is also highly appreciated by tourists. The major natural scenic attractions, to name just a few, are the Nanjiabawa Peak, the Grand Canyon of the Yaluzhangbu River, Basongcuo, Chayu and Bomi etc.

Travel Tips

  1. The best tourist season: from April until October

  2. Due to the severe sunlight on the plateau and wide temperature division between day and night, you are highly advised to carry long sleeves, sweater, jackets, sunglasses, sun cap, sun blocking cream, lip cream, Aspirin, medicine for cold and digestion etc. 

  3. Owing to its location in south Tibet, many climatic types, ranging from subtropical to Frigid Zone climate, are influencing Nyingchi. Take the Grand Canyon as an example; it features a variety of climates at different latitudes.

Related Reading:  Motuo County

Motuo County, one of the most mysterious areas of Tibet, is located in Nyingchi Prefecture in southeastern Tibetan Autonomous Region. Motuo means flowers in Tibetan language. The main part of the famous Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon is situated in Motuo County. It enjoys the best environment and boasts well-preserved zoology and rich natural resources, such as immense forests, alpine lakes, either thin and delicate waterfalls as fine gauze or magnificent and roaring waterfalls. Entering into Motuo County, you will appreciate the landscape from alp Frigid Zone to selva zone and various natural landscapes in several hours. Motuo County attracts a number of devout people as a religious holy area, and a great many people come here for exploration and expedition for its unique natural and human landscape. It takes about nine days to hike around the county. You can start from Paixiang, and pass through Lage, Aniqiao, Badengze and Damu.

Motuo is the only county in China where automobile is not enterable as its geological disaster is relatively frequent, including earthquake, collapse and debris flow. Thus, travelers choose to hike there should be well prepared.

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